Facebook Reduces Reach of Hunter Biden Report Before Fact-Checking It

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October 14, 2020

A Facebook communications director said Wednesday that the platform will be limiting the distribution of a New York Post report on Hunter Biden before it is fact checked.

"While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear [sic] that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners," Andy Stone tweeted. "In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform."

Stone defended Facebook reducing the article's reach by saying it is part of the company's standard operating procedure. Facebook policy states that "if we have signals that a piece of content is false, we temporarily reduce its distribution pending review by a third-party fact-checker."

Facebook did not specify what its "signals" are in this case, but many liberal Twitter users have cast doubt on the article's veracity.

Stone is a former Democratic operative who worked for a major Democratic Super PAC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., Calif.), and former Democratic senator Barbara Boxer.

The Post story detailed how Hunter Biden introduced his father Joe Biden, then the vice president, to an executive from a Ukrainian energy firm. The story contradicts the Democratic presidential nominee's longstanding claim that he never discussed his son's business in Ukraine with him.

A Senate committee told the Post that it is investigating the documents and hard drive cited in the article.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) also penned a letter to Facebook asking for more information about how the company came to this conclusion, and he posted the letter on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.